Fifteen years ago, two seniors opened fire at Columbine High School. They killed 12 students and one teacher, in what remains the deadliest mass murder committed on an American high school campus. The unprecedented event shocked, saddened, and horrified people across the nation. While every school shooting since has induced the same feelings of sadness and horror, the shock seems to be fading.
That’s because a school shooting is no longer an anomaly. From the Wikipedia page dedicated to listing these events, I count 66 incidents in this decade. And we’re not very far into this decade. The latest addition comes from Roswell, New Mexico. It was breaking news last Tuesday: 12-year-old in custody after 2 students shot at New Mexico middle school. For a moment I thought the list was incomplete when I didn’t see the Arapahoe High shooting that took place in Colorado last month listed directly above it. I didn’t realize three shootings had occurred in between.
My school has responded to each event with increased security measures. We’ve started locking the doors at the bottom of the school, for example, forcing everyone to use the main entrance for much of the day. While this is often inconvenient, at least I can take consolation in knowing any potential shooters would be thoroughly thwarted by this ingenious tactic. After the Arapahoe tragedy, swift action was taken again. In a cunning gesture of decisive practicality, the school procured a very large desk. It now sits awkwardly in the hallway at the top of the school, manned by a security guard who watches people as they come in. Safety attained!
There is certainly more to the story. I know my school has worked very hard, as have schools around the country, to find solutions to this immensely complex and terrifying issue. I am deeply grateful for all the people working to keep me safe at school, and I appreciate the difficulty of finding suitable actions. But the locked doors and the desk just don’t make a lot of sense to me.
Continue reading “A Humble Appeal to Students of the World”
I wanted to briefly share a few interesting quotes from different sources I’ve come across over the past week or so.
From Yes! magazine:
Attaching our values of freedom to the market is not just dehumanizing. It also fails to recognize how one person’s ‘freedom’ of economic choice is another’s imprisonment in a life of exploitation and deprivation. There is no possibility for true freedom until we are all free, and this will only come through a much richer and deeper conception of human freedom than the one that consists of going to a grocery store and ‘choosing’ between 5,000 variations of processed corn.
I thought this was a wonderfully articulate snippet regarding the importance of shifting our views on freedom and capitalism. When we commit ourselves entirely to the idea of unbridled free market capitalism as the surest guarantee of personal freedom, we loose freedom in other ways, such as the freedom to live in a world with clean air and water and healthy plants and animals and ecosystems, among other things.
I read this in a copy of Yes! magazine I stumbled across– an exciting publication that “empowers people with the vision and tools to create a healthy planet and vibrant communities.” From the same edition I highly recommend the article, Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical is the New Normal.
Continue reading “Quotes of the Week”
While doing some research for a blog post that I will probably never publish, (a fate that befalls most of the blogs I start to write,) I learned that scientists have recently discovered a planet that could be habitable by humans. My initial reaction, sadly enough, was something along the lines of “hey, that’s great, because when we trash this one, we’ll have another in store.”
I felt that concept could make for an interesting song, and when I realized the “D” and the “g” in the planet’s name basically rhyme, making the name sing-able, I decided it had to be done.
This is my ode to the poetically named and utterly ineffable HD 40307g.
(Note: The video at the start is from “slatester,” the Slate News Chanel.)
It’s the year 2073
And the world’s no longer habitable by you or by me me
So it’s pretty clear we’ll simply have to leave
We’re headed for HD 40307g
Continue reading “[Original Song] Ode to HD 40307g”